A theme we’ve been discussing with students lately is that as a coach, you want to show up at your best. This means paying close attention to our physical needs for healthy nutrition, deep breathing, movement, hydration, and sleep.
Aesha Tahir was our guest speaker for this topic. Aesha’s written a book that’s coming out shortly called Unhunched. She explained that because we are so deskbound at work and tethered to our mobile devices, we end up being hunched over most of the time. We need to “unhunch”—literally, by straightening up; and also metaphorically, by being more open.
Physically unhunching affects not only our posture, but also our body language, and how healthy we are in general. In fact, Aesha believes that posture can be the North Star to guide us toward better health.
Aesha received lots of questions from our coaches about how to fit in healthier habits.
“If I only have time to do one thing, should I go to the gym or take a walk outside?”
Go outside, she says, especially if you’re in an area where there’s green grass or trees. But even in winter or in the middle of a city, that fresh outside air can do wonders. Breathe it in. Let nature’s elements filter into you.
She also gave some simple exercises that anyone can fit into a busy schedule, like setting a timer every hour to stop and roll your shoulders, rotate your spine, or open your chest.
You can also easily work breathing exercises into your day with apps like iBreathe, which you can program to remind you to stop and breathe, and which will guide you through calming exercises to center you and focus your mind.
Timers and apps can also help you improve your quantity and quality of sleep, which is such a crucial element of health. At my gym, they say if you haven’t had a good night of sleep, don’t come in, because it’ll do more damage than help.
“I don’t have time to eat healthy. Plus, what is healthy? How much should I eat?”
Those answers are unique to you, and best discussed with a fitness or healthcare professional. I get my meal plan from my trainer, who tells me precisely how many macronutrients I need. (Weighing and measuring my food is right for me; it may or may not be right for you.)
Aesha talked about choosing healthier snacks, and the importance of reading nutrition labels. For example, you might think you’re doing great with yogurt and granola, but there can be a lot of hidden sugar in both those things.
As Aesha Tahir reminds us, as humans evolved, we went from being hunched over and propelling ourselves on all fours, to walking upright as we do today. So we need to straighten up and not let ourselves get back into old habits.
By attending to our need for proper sleep, hydration, and movement, we’re much more likely to embrace healthy habits in all areas of life—including how we show up for our coaching clients.